Hospital fall rates have changed minimally with preventive measures; however, the effect on injury rate is unclear.
The purpose was to determine whether fall-related injuries have changed over time.
A retrospective comparison was done of 1134 adult inpatient falls in 2017 to 1235 falls in 2001-2002 for injury and fall circumstances. Separate comparisons were made of patient characteristics by service line for 2017.
Severe fall injuries declined from 6% to 2.4%. Elimination issues remained the most common circumstance (38.9% and 42%). In 2017, malnutrition (31.6%), low function (61.4%), fall history (26.3%), and use of high-risk medications (83.2%) were common in patients who fell. Predictors of falls with injury by patient population were as follows: surgery—male gender (P = .01), low function (P = .006), elimination issues (P = .04); oncology—low function (P = .04); and neurology—low function (P = .02).
Severe fall-related injuries have decreased in the past 15 years. The most common circumstance for falls remains elimination issues.